Too Busy Working to Check Out a Health Issue?

People often say that there aren’t enough hours in the day and, according to recently released research from Bupa UK, that’s certainly true when it comes to making time for health appointments.

In fact, Bupa’s research found that almost two thirds (64%) of London-based workers take a day of annual leave when they need to attend a medical appointment with a GP, dentist or physiotherapist.

Perhaps more worrying is the reality that more than half of the survey’s respondents said they regularly cancel or reschedule such health appointments due to work commitments.

However, while some 1,000 Londoners were surveyed for the purpose of the Bupa research, the findings are likely to reflect national trends witnessed across the country. The bottom line is that employees feel as though they are too busy with their day-to-day tasks to take time out for important medical checkups.

In fact, those surveyed said they were “too busy” even just to pop out and see a health professional. Moreover, more than a quarter (28%) revealed that they’d waited at least four weeks before making time to book a health-related appointment.

More startling is the revelation that over half of those surveyed (57%) said they regularly have to cancel or reschedule appointments because of work commitments.

The Bupa research was commissioned to mark the opening of the firm’s flagship ‘superclinic’ in Canary Wharf, Crossrail Place. It’s an 8,000 sq ft facility which offers Canary Wharf residents and city workers a one-stop-shop for everyday healthcare services.

Deadlines Outweigh Health Appointments

In terms of the most common reasons giving for missing appointments, last-minute work deadlines came out on top (47%), followed by covering for colleagues (37%) and worrying that taking time out would reflect badly with superiors or co-workers (24%).

For more than a third of respondents, clinics that stay open after hours are the biggest help when booking health appointments.

Just under half (44%) said that failure to attend an appointment had caused a health complaint to worsen, ultimately resulting in sickness absence.

A key finding for employers is that 39% of those surveyed said that being able to attend health appointments would have a significant positive impact on their job satisfaction. A further 38% said it would increase their productivity.

Lee Martin, manager at Bupa’s new Centre in Canary Wharf, Crossrail Place, said: “We know that people struggle to fit their health and wellbeing needs into their busy working lives. This means some aren’t addressing health issues promptly and others are having to use precious holiday time just to get a routine appointment. Alongside our jobs, it is crucial people don’t neglect their health as this may lead to time out of the office in the long run.”

It’s good to see employees committed to their work, but delaying a health check-up could lead to a lot more time out of the office in the long run.


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